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UAE business activity at 3-month low in June
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 53.2 points last month from an 11-month high of 53.8 in May.
July 3, 2012 12:40 by Reuters
Growth in business activity in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector eased to a three-month low in June, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Tuesday.
The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 53.2 points last month from an 11-month high of 53.8 in May.
The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.
“I’m not troubled by the modest easing in the June PMI reading which points to a non-oil economy still firmly in growth territory,” said Simon Williams, chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC.
“I suspect there are further declines to come, but the positive new orders numbers suggest that the economy is managing to maintain some momentum despite the weak global backdrop and falling energy prices.”
UAE firms saw output growth slow to 54.6 points in June, the weakest level in three months, from 54.8 in May. New orders edeged down to 58.4 from an 11-month high of 59.1.
Employment across the UAE’s non-oil private sector rose for a sixth month in a row, the survey also showed.
Output prices slipped below the 50 mark in June, the first such fall in 10 months, while input prices dropped to a five-month low of 55.2 points.
Consumer price inflation in the UAE, the world’s No. 3 oil exporter, remained at 0.8 percent on an annual basis in May. It is forecast to climb to 2 percent this year from 0.9 percent in 2011 and 2010, a Reuters poll of analysts found in March.
In June, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri cut his forecast for the country’s gross domestic product growth this year. He predicted expansion of around 3 percent, down from 4.2 percent in 2011 because of global weakness.
Detailed PMI data is only available under licence from Markit and customers need to apply to Markit for a license.
(Reporting by Martin Dokoupil; Editing by Andrew Torchia)